Litigation Strategies

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Practical Guidelines for Jury Instructions, Verdict Forms, and the Charge Conference (Part 5 of 5)

You have been asked to prepare a set of jury instructions and a verdict form for trial. What do you do? Where do you start? In my last op-ed, I talked about the potential grounds for reversible error that may arise from the...more

Tentative Rulings: Contest or Concede?

Posted on January 26, 2015 by Julie Brook, Esq. When the tentative ruling is against you, you’ve got two choices: contest or concede. Here’s the spoiler: One of these choices is generally the way to go....more

The Strategy of Lone Pine Orders: Timing Matters

Federal and state courts are using Lone Pine orders to effectively manage and control mass tort cases and other complex litigation. A Lone Pine order is a case management order that requires all plaintiffs to furnish...more

Court Of Chancery Requires More Cooperation In Pretrial Orders

This decision may change litigation practice in the Court of Chancery. Most lawyers, myself included, dislike arguing over the statement of admitted facts required in a pretrial order. There are many reason for that, such as...more

Should You Make an In Limine Motion?

The next time you’re deciding between excluding evidence via a motion in limine or taking your chances at trial, make sure to review this chart of the pros and cons of motions in limine....more

Amended Complaints and Industry Standards

Can a party who is accused of an unfair trade practice raise the same defense? That is, can a business avoid section 75-1.1 liability by proving that the plaintiff business engages in the same allegedly unfair conduct?...more

Are Requests for Admissions a Magic Bullet or Overblown?

Requests for admission are one of the best techniques to create admissible evidence for summary judgment and trial. Every litigator should understand the advantages of using them but also their limitations....more

Employment Alert: Court Upholds Waiver of Employer’s Right to Arbitration

In Bower v. Inter-Con Security Systems, Inc., No. A135940, published December 31, 2014 (Bower), the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District held that a defendant employer waived its right to arbitration based on...more

Practical Guidelines for Jury Instructions, Verdict Forms, and the Charge Conference (Part 4 of 5)

You have been asked to prepare a set of jury instructions and a verdict form for trial. What do you do? Where do you start? In my last op-ed, I talked about the charge conference and persuading the court to give your...more

Finding the Earliest and Least Expensive Exit From Financial Services Class Actions

Effectively responding to class litigation doesn’t necessarily mean simply preparing an answer or perfunctory motion to dismiss, diving headlong into class discovery, investing in full-fledged combat on the merits of the...more

Litigation Strategy: Avoid the “Selfie” – Let the Expert be the Expert

It’s human nature to think we’re the smartest person in the room or at the table. It’s also human nature, and a trap for lawyers, to feel like you have to prove that point in front of the client. It’s a real pitfall, when the...more

Court of Appeal Upholds Anti-SLAPP Motion to Defeat Claims Against Government Agencies

Ruling Allows Government Agencies to Use the Motion to Quickly End Meritless and Vexatious Lawsuits - A government agency can employ an anti-SLAPP motion to win early termination of meritless and vexatious lawsuits...more

To Sue or Not to Sue: That Is the Trade Secret Question

You have just learned that a senior member of the company research and development team has resigned. The employee had access to important confidential information about your company’s product development, manufacturing...more

First Circuit Finds Plaintiff Waived Right to Arbitrate by Litigating for 9 Months

We haven’t had a good waiver case in a while. The First Circuit served one up last week with a flourish, teaching me multiple new words in the process (not for the first time, either). It found that a plaintiff had waived...more

JAMS Dispute Resolution Alert, Winter 2014

In This Issue: - In Depth: Engaging Neutrals for Mock Exercises Provides Invaluable Insight - ADR Conversations: More Energy, More Deals, More Disputes Domestic Focus: Mandatory Mediation Programs Successful in...more

The Top 10 Obstacles to Litigating Securities Fraud Claims: Part I

Introduction: Congress passed the Securities Act of 1933, 15 U.S.C. §§ 77a et seq. (Securities Act), and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. §§ 78a et seq. (Exchange Act, collectively, the Acts) following...more

City SLAPPs Away Landlord's Section 1983 Claim

Anti-SLAPP motions provide defendants with a valuable tool to dispose of meritless cases that stifle protected speech . In Squires v. City of Eureka (October 17, 2014, A138768; A139849) ___Cal. App.4th___ [14 Cal. Daily Op....more

See the Forest for the Trees

Most litigators who have been practicing for more than a few years can recite for you a list of what judges dislike. It is not hard to learn. Read judicial opinions, take in hearings, attend seminars with judges on the...more

Pulling the Trigger on Motions for Reconsideration

Deciding when to file a motion for reconsideration in a civil case is tricky. Motions for reconsideration are called for in very limited circumstances, like new evidence or law, or clear error in the earlier decision. They...more

Friending and Following Jurors: The Ethical Boundaries of Researching Jurors on Social Media

What are the ethical boundaries of an attorney’s internet research of jurors? Before the ubiquity of the internet, an attorney obviously couldn’t walk up to a potential juror in a restaurant and strike up a conversation. But...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Use of Preemptive Litigation to Validate Federal Approvals

Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc., v. Center for Biological Diversity, (11/12/14, No. 13-35835) The Ninth Circuit has rejected a “novel litigation strategy” that Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc., employed in an effort to preempt a...more

Appellate Court Affirms Anti-SLAPP Dismissal of Defamation Lawsuit by Political Candidate

On October 30, in Goral v. Kulys, the Illinois First District Appellate Court affirmed dismissal of a defamation suit pursuant to the Illinois Citizen Participation Act, 735 ILCS 110/1 et seq. (the “Act”). The Goral decision...more

November 2014: Class Action Litigation Update

Class Action Defense Menu: Statutes of Limitations Served Two Ways. The statute of limitations is an underutilized but potentially potent defense in many consumer class actions. The defense can be raised two ways. First, as...more

To Raise or Not to Raise? That is the Question When Talking About Pre-Verdict Motions for Judgment as a Matter of Law

The specificity required in a motion for judgment as a matter of law/directed verdict (“JMOL”) can present challenges to counsel as they argue motions under Rule 50 or its state-law equivalents. Halo Electronics, Inc. v....more

Safeguard Your Litigation Privileges When Working With Insurance Brokers On Complex Insurance Claims

Businesses facing catastrophic losses, whether as a result of an accident or a natural disaster, or due to mass tort claims, frequently will engage both their insurance broker and legal counsel to identify and pursue...more

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